Artists can use Disney’s Mickey and Minnie freely – level 2

08-01-2024 15:00

Mickey and Minnie Mouse finally entered the public domain after 96 years. It means that artists and writers can use these characters and they won’t have legal troubles with Disney.

This concerns the early versions of the characters, like the naughty, black-and-white Mickey from the 1928 film ‘Steamboat Willie’. Disney extended copyright protection several times in the past, so this is a big change.

Disney still owns the copyright over later character versions, such as the Sorcerer Mickey from ‘Fantasia’. Also, Disney still limits the use of Mickey as a logo and mascot.

Difficult words: legal (relating to the law), extend (to make something longer, or last longer), copyright (the right to print, publish, film, or record something).

You can watch the original video in the Level 3 section.

How has the recent release of early Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters into the public domain affected artists and writers? What limitations still exist for the use of these characters?


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